Poetry Blog by John E Marks
Forget me not blue
As an Alaskan blueberry
Endurance is a flower
A bulb in winter’s depth
A rare-repeated wonder:
A sin we must forget.
In this world-of-make-believe:
Cancer, the death of children,
Are falling autumn leaves.
I see a road before me
A road I walk in vain
A road through Trawden, Lancashire
A road that’s no...
Wednesday 13th November 2019 8:06 pm
Beneath this beach of sand and shells
I see the image of the rolling sea.
Such new-found-land frames and hides
These wide horizons; I walk along the cliff:
Sheer drop upon the windward side,
Embedded trilobites, beneath my feet
Quartz and Muscovite from the granite
Weathered by the winds and waves
Sea-formed outcrops, hidden rocks, caves.
Time carves the face of all mank...
Sunday 10th November 2019 9:05 pm
These fingers point at letters
Those letters point at words
And then the disturbance -
My love she was a vixen
And howled in the night
Those feelings they just left me -
The mourning which continues
Throughout decades, in a line,
My lover she engages me -
These swirling skies of fortune,
The lakes’ grey and white despair...
Saturday 9th November 2019 11:42 pm
In England's fields few poppies grow, Chemical fertilisers have seen to that The land is still owned by the same fey aristocrats Who’ve plundered and marauded for untold centuries. On the slivers of common land that remain The common sparrows still bravely sing, Scarce heard amid the empty political posturing. No-one listens to the Glorious Dead. Lip service only. Instead, if ...
Saturday 9th November 2019 8:06 pm
The guest was uninvited but arrived anyway
In this universe of moulding, he is the clay.
The freezing blizzard of my heart departs
As I look out of my window into this universe of things
And, for a micro-second, my wounded heart sings
With love and with the lack of love,
With all we seek to find
With memories buried in
This golgotha mind of mine.
I am no different, thoug...
Friday 8th November 2019 11:30 pm
Tell the truth, but tell it slant. Emily Dickinson
Born, bloom, die
All in the one day
Blur a glass darkly,
A physician’s proof of death,
Marked by a girlhood’s fleeting fancy,
A garden romance
A moonlit dance
With Chopin playing lightly
And no rectangular wooden box
To be seen.
Instead a thing with feathers...
Wednesday 6th November 2019 9:52 pm
O! daughter dear, on this mid-western afternoon,
When I can see all the way to Sacramento, I cry
For you, Ariel-blue, in all your golden-girlhood
Too lovely for a life of pettiness and strife were
You. You caught a boat to England, never returned.
No Nazi goblin me, an extraordinary Jew like you,
Beautifully clever Ariel-blue. And, maybe I didn’t talk
To you like I yearned...
Tuesday 5th November 2019 11:06 pm
The times of wonder have gone
The wise women drugged
Forensic psychology reveals traces
Of long-forgotten faces
Which, much like Munch's silent scream,
Degenerate into nightmaredream.
Desire, in all its lurid manifestations,
Falls into disuse,
And all is as it was before:
A flat, grey concrete floor
Krema I at Auschwitz
Sunday 3rd November 2019 12:33 am
Circumstances compel me speak
Ye gods, (for you have them);
From the first of the world
Down to our own time
Don’t frown, don’t shake your head,
Listen to this elegy for a passing time instead.,
A soldier silenced, banned, expelled, made dead.
While life continues, makes the crops no longer joyous.
The sheep forgot, the cattle, bees unkept.
Be thrifty with ...
Wednesday 30th October 2019 9:49 pm
Those words you don’t remember,
Wind tearing through the sky,
Your soul is packed with fortitude
While sparks fly.
The coals flare into flames, a pettiness
Of heat. Suddenly, replete: golden sands,
Crystal brooks, silken lines, silver hooks.
Glimpsing what’s already there,
She begins to mount the stairs.
Say, a friend you trust implicitly,
A lover you migh...
Sunday 27th October 2019 2:18 pm
Memories bring me just diamonds and rust
Though time's chasm opens before my sight,
And the vertigo returns with the Lapis Lazuli,
I will devote some time to resurrecting the lived poetry
Of the Byzantimes, Persians, Armenians, Assyrians.
Each civilization alloted supreme value to the blue of lapis lazuli.
Lapis lazuli was used in the funeral mask of Tutankhamun ...
Sunday 27th October 2019 12:21 am
The blue is missing from the sky today
the trees have no leaves
outside it is very cold
the wind is cruel.
There is a person
in front of me
i don't know who it is.
I remember playing out
with my sisters
on a skipping rope.
It is cold inside,
that lady told me it is morning,
that is why I stretch and yawn.
The lady said I had a visitor
i was frightene...
Saturday 26th October 2019 6:32 pm
“Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
A waterfall of notes, rising, descending,
Splashing into my mind, heart, soul.
Music will never grow old.
An arpeggio series of broken chords
In and out of order, splintering, teasing the ear.
Plunging into minor keys, soaring into waves of luminosity.
Friday 25th October 2019 6:57 pm
She's the flinger of plurabilly teas,
She was, once-upon-a-golden-time;
And a good time it was two,
Despite the old hairy gobeen man,
Who was a-coming down a road,
drinking from a can.
She met a nice-uns-little boy name Baby Tookoo,
Her mother slopped her drat story.
Her rather had a leery face:
Sin, sin, Jesuitical-sin...
Thursday 24th October 2019 11:59 am
(for Kathy 1940–2019)
She was close to death —
her loved ones bereft.
I read between the lines,
just a habit of mind,
then looked again,
out of the side of my eye:
more and more, as time passes by
what we perceive
Buried in the earth,
she's still looking at the sky,
a rumble of thunder,
Wednesday 23rd October 2019 12:13 pm
Dripping into what passes for daylight
In these northern climes,
The moon fades, wind and rain shower,
Trees sway, on this formless holiday
Light, such as it is, tucks away dream,
Children — washed, tired, pale -
Know it’s Halloween
I know it well:
Tired ghosts forget to rise again,
Witches stagger into view
As all their magic fades away.
Clogged motors roar
As the October mist l...
Tuesday 22nd October 2019 10:07 pm
Out of all this mush,
With a little bit of a push,
Emerge fire fly.
O! fly so high firefly,
Illuminate the sky, firefly
Take a break, firefly;
Phosphorescence on the lake,
Float over the image of moon,
The lapping of the lake
Firefly, a soft-bodied beetle,
Firefly, related to the glow-worm,
The winged male and flightless female
Both have luminesce...
Friday 18th October 2019 7:31 pm
Kurdish poets with military experience have fallen silent and I am bereft;
Poetry has always been the main pillar of Kurdish literature
The fight for their land and the fight for their identity are the same.
The Kurds are not divorced from the west - Eliot's influence on al-Sayyab for example -
And the hot wave from Arabia did not destroy the Kurds, many are Christian, Ezedi and secul...
Wednesday 16th October 2019 11:13 pm
The cold autumn rain falls full in my face,
wet westerlies come with a trace of winter;
as I walk, I take account of my losses.
My mind drifts into the past:
a phantasmagoria of well-remembered faces
tumble into the valley of the shadow of death.
Phantoms afloat, all around me, looking quizzically
at the remains of a life long left or soonest parted.
The trees of this woodl...
Sunday 13th October 2019 2:31 pm
The Gracehoper was always jigging ajog, hoppy on akkant of his joyicity.
James Joyce, Finnegans Wake
Complain with the full force of a Jesuit priest
Whine like a man who knows he's out of time
Casuistry and sophistry work together perfectly.
But poetry's more about the wine than the whining
About seeking to express the inexpressible
Whilst complaining about just how dif...
Thursday 3rd October 2019 8:58 pm
Words we remember,
Echo in the brain,
Bouncing off the surfaces:
A few will remain.
Wind rises around the window pane,
Blowing a northerly gale,
A rain-splattered man, with a sorry, sorry tale,
Inhabits the soul beside me, half-way to hell.
His tale is built on lies, my friend,
Deceptions ripe and drear,
Tales we tell to children
When their eyes overflow with fear....
Tuesday 1st October 2019 8:00 pm
Tell the truth, but tell it slant. Emily Dickinson
Born, bloom, die
All in the one day
Blurs a glass darkly
A physician’s proof of breath
Marked by her girlhood’s fleeting fancy
Of a garden romance
A moonlit dance
With Chopin playing lightly
In the darkness
And no rectangular wooden box
To be seen
Instead a thing with feathers
Whistles through my head...
Sunday 22nd September 2019 5:16 pm
The guttering rain of home
Stains my memory
Longer than churches
Is it duty to devotion
Or devotion to duty that keeps
Me standing in this field of ripe poppies?
I don't know
How can we translate this chaos
The grammar of suffering
Lost in translation
Faith no longer floods my mind
My mind reminds me
That my veins ...
Thursday 19th September 2019 5:29 pm
"Without music, life would be a mistake” ― Friedrich Nietzsche
A waterfall of notes, rising, falling,
Splashing into mind, heart, soul.
Music that will never grow old.
Arpeggio series of broken chords rising descending
Into and out of order. Plunging into minor keys, rising into waves of luminosity.
Notes that compose a chord create harmonies of the heart. Plan...
Saturday 14th September 2019 11:53 pm
You never cross the bridge,
On the verge of doubt
Retreat from the river
Jump into dreamland
Tuck yourself into shade
Answer questions in a perfunctory manner
And look, I, too, was tired and broken
Dedicated to existing
Long enough to kiss the sun
I remember a man, a son of Zoroaster
So unlike the tired stranger I became.
I wish I k...
Friday 30th August 2019 9:49 pm
The Moors' last laugh
My daughters mean the world to me
To keep them safe is my whole intent
But in a time of war can fathers truly
Protect daughters? I used to be happy,
So cheerful, so easy in my cares.
But now I hate the moonlight
I am scared to be taken unawares.
We are occupied now by Christian armies.
But we keep Muhamed close to our hearts
Thursday 29th August 2019 1:02 pm
Bewildered, at the things he left unsaid,
Serendipity, chances offered, all cut dead:
Wise enough to play the fool.
A vicious wind slices through me,
Here on this January night:
Put out the light and then put out the light
Memory cuts through the cold remains of the day
Parcels it up, so the day wont drift away.
Signs hidden by an iron fog bec...
Tuesday 27th August 2019 8:09 pm
We’ve reached a tipping point —
As the Arctic melts and Amazonia burns —
Acid rain strips the trees —
Plastic fantastic — two billion tons of indestructible shit –
A deathly cocktail of chemicals
Billowing out of chemical factories across the globe,
Billowing out tons of pestilential fug:
Diesel passing poison straight ...
Tuesday 27th August 2019 6:46 pm
The pungent smell of carnations sends me back
To summer days spent wending my time away
As dandelions mimic the gawdy sun
And the pebbles in my pockets are reserved for skimming water.
A heavy incense melds with the patchouli oil
Sweating for his mortal soul
Mixing an amorous mescaline tincture
Pale and milky, resistant like a heavy oak door
The frozen moment of a kiss
Thursday 22nd August 2019 9:38 pm
"Spain, under Arab rule, became the most civilized country in the world."
Max Dimont,The Amazing Adventures of the Jewish People, Behrman House, 1995, p. 81
Arabic spoken in Andalusia,
after 400 years of the inquisition.
Muslim houses, in Bosnian villages,
with crosses on display
despite the threat of apostasy.
..........And slay them wherever you come upon them: Surah-Al...
Monday 19th August 2019 8:26 pm
Serendipity came my way, on a blowy Lancaster day
Blown in all the way from Cal-i-forni-i-a, an idea of a girl
That I kept in my head, long after she was dead
Except in great extremity when I'd gamble all that I had
On her not being sad. But, maybe, I was wrong and Jenny
Had sung a bitter-bitter-song. A song of her declining days
Drifting into a frustration-opoid-filled Palo Alt...
Sunday 18th August 2019 1:32 am
Morning maniac music
Shakes me awake
The regular guys
Those who once brought hope
Now bring hate.
Over the mountain,
the clouds scud away
blood on the floor
it's all fading away.
Blood on the soul,
and blood over water
All those refugees
stick 'em in the camps
and camp'em on the shelf
of our conscience
Sunday 18th August 2019 12:13 am
Falling in love
Beats falling in line
What is our derivative today
In this curve of time
We need a degree of differentiation
To establish our rate of change
With respect to time.
There are a number of ways
To fix this derivative:
In the end they all amount to the same
In the fourth dimension
Saturday 17th August 2019 11:42 pm
Moon came to an old Cheshire mere,
In all her shadowy finery.
This boy cannot stop looking
And looking and looking at pretty Missy Moon.
Thunder growls on this high summer eve,
Missy Moon shows off her talents,
Her rounded suppleness of form
Shows us all her shades and shadows and crevices.
Toing-and-froing the moon swings like an old nursery rhyme
Moonlight flows and flows and t...
Tuesday 13th August 2019 11:31 pm
The ideas of the beautiful Cathars of Languedoc spread across western Europe
Cathar comes from the Greek: καθαροί, katharoi, “the pure [ones]”
They built on the dualistic theology of Manichaenism
Which they blended with the eastern Christianity of Byzantium
They were ascetic: believing the matetial world was the evil realm of Satan
Whilst the world of the spirit w...
Monday 12th August 2019 9:13 pm
At the end of time I will rise
Like today, go about my business
Talk to children, smile sometimes.
The sky - the real sky - shall shelter
And storm the earth still. Black soil shall
Breed many Satans still.
Azure clouds from which no rain falls
Shall mass on far horizons.
Large drops of rain shall fall, freezing into ice,
Falling into full sunshine.
Monday 12th August 2019 8:59 pm
The winter-sharp brains of children
Took a turn for the worse,
Suffered an inferiority complex
Caused by all the old men: quick to criticise, slow to help..
Dispersed, triumphant solely in their dreams.
Children running across raging seas danced on the waves.
Such a storm-blessed salty awakening.
They had nothing to regret.
They were children who coped with HIV, nursed t...
Sunday 11th August 2019 7:11 pm
Missing the wildness of the beautiful
We degenerate into words. Waiting, between
Sentences, for the Muse to catch up with us,
We fulminate, flash like lightning, explode so
Violently that I catch myself thinking this
Is an all an act to compensate for the time
My friend climbed that tree before disappearing
To Japan for all eter...
Sunday 11th August 2019 6:32 pm
"`He was courteous but very silent. He was good with children. His eyesight may have been impaired, but he had an ear open to the world." This is how Alex Leon recalls James Joyce, who, between 1928 and 1939 was an almost daily visitor to his family's flat on the rue Casimir-Perier in Paris. Joyce came to consult with Alex's father, Paul Leon..." 'The Irish Times', Thu, Oct 29, 1998
Wednesday 7th August 2019 11:30 pm
If all the days of all the years were made of wine and gold
They’d be present in the light of intelligence in this one dog’s eyes.
This friendship across species — a Buddhist mantra –
Rocks me like a good old boy, befriends me like the rain.
He’ll be with me when the gates fly open — his love will never end.
Seek out the depths, the s...
Tuesday 6th August 2019 7:27 pm
moments of the past
memories do not last:
tumbling heaps, red, gold and brown
deep-set colours all around
echoing the silent dread
of the day of the dead.
A memory-lost, a memory-found,
but never said:
regrets of a life misled.
around my head,...
Tuesday 6th August 2019 2:53 pm
Passing these whiter shades of pale, these pretty traces of lace,
We reveal the opal-luminosity of these few remaining late Romans,
Their indigo-dreams red with the gore of resistance on this bloody
May Day, negating their absorption into the timeless air of antiquity,
Through the thousand year creation of Constantinople’s drift and swell,
Rising into Elysium’s perfumed garden ...
Monday 5th August 2019 12:34 pm
My friend is dead.
I met him here
He was wise,
But he was not clear
About anything - afar or near.
For which I was grateful.
I try to hold him clear in mind -
on the random wildwind strain
where we hear old notes playing -
I maintain the glory of his voice, his name,
But I have a sick dread of a fading
Time, unmaintained by love or rhyme.
Saturday 3rd August 2019 12:06 am
I went to see a dead man's wedding today.
I can sing again, some may say,
Even if the bridegroom cuts out his heart
And swears they'd never part
I'll plant a heart in the national park
But the NIMBYs would exclaim,
In addition flowers cannot bloom,
For the NIMBYs are in their 60s with no debts,
They think they'll live for ever
But between the layers of birdsong death i...
Friday 2nd August 2019 10:00 pm
You may want to be a rose,
You are beautiful enough,
and your perfume makes me faint
Heady it is in that one garden,
Where the best woman in the world
Works like a peasant, smiling, striving,
The trimming of the hedges,
If I was a sculptor there would be statues
To remember you as a young woman
But I am a dreamer and I only remember every inch of you
Just as the w...
Friday 2nd August 2019 9:26 pm
We wake to the rumbling thunder of blood,
Pumping hearts, twisted hearts, this shadow and I
Squeeze into these thick silences of trees.
Soon the dark lights of Christmastide afflict us
Twilight memories drift, flux and flicker
In this breeze of Time,
Penumbra-beginning hologram-end, my friend,
Such pungent affirmations, slip into the past:
Generations of suffering: eyes lifted to...
Wednesday 31st July 2019 10:11 pm
Goodbye my Sufi friends and lovers
Nothing now exists to connect you to me
Tayyar is honourable and full of good intent
I will rise from the trap of the world
I will ask you to be my servant in paradise
You are my dancer, I am your poet, we can laugh
Together on days when I taste the rain-drift-clouds.
When you sew I can watch you and fall in love
Again I remember our ...
Monday 29th July 2019 10:24 pm
Shout it out or whisper it secretly in my ear
Tell me all the things I will never want to hear:
Tell me how Sharia law liberates the maid:
Tell me how nationalism is patriotism writ large;
Tell me how exactly and who it is that Jesus saves.
Now I’ll tell you our lives are way too crammed with things
How we need to let go if we want to hear the s...
Saturday 27th July 2019 10:12 pm
Our time in Erbil was short
We heard that in Mosul
The fascist’s love of power
Was enforced by knife and fist and gun.
Our time in Nineveh had begun,
Long, long beneath the sun.
With Dwekh Nawsha
It was a time for self-sacrifice
A time to break the deadly silence of terror
And now, again, church bells ring in Nineveh
WE have changed fate.
We the ancient Assyrian p...
Saturday 27th July 2019 12:27 am
john coltrane in my mind, a war companion in my head
miles davis not far behind, it's the kind of blue that rhymes
a mixing that's complex and true: a rippling of the genes,
a resurrection of memory, a breaking of the heart
a saxophone screeches us apart, a wail, a scream,
blue-lightening flashing, it's more than a blue-tinged dream,
billie holiday, lady day, tears out my soul...
Friday 26th July 2019 10:10 pm